The first submersible speedboat transforms from wave rider to deep diver in seconds
By Jessica Cheng & Day GreenbergPosted 07.16.2008 at 6:16 pm 8 Comments
Nautical engineers have long dreamed of a craft that could race across wave tops like a speedboat and seconds later dive beneath them like a submarine. But crossing the two breeds presents a catch-22: Subs need heft to sink, but speedboats need to be lightweight to go fast. With an investment of nearly $2 million and years of research, former auto-shop owner Reynolds Marion of Lake City, Florida, has finally hit on a solution, a machine he’s dubbed the Hyper-Submersible Powerboat. When complete, it will reach speeds of up to 45 mph and dive down to 1,200 feet.
Newly discovered human skeletons suggest that people are people, no matter their height
By Day GreenbergPosted 06.04.2008 at 11:21 am 7 Comments
From left to right, a modern human female skull, a fragment of an older Palauan skull, and a model of a Homo floresiensis skull.
It could be any human skull, but this one is in fact much smaller and comes with a lot more controversy. In 2006, South African paleoanthropologist Lee Berger discovered this skull and thousands of other human bones piled in corners, buried under sand, or cemented to walls by dripping flowstone (the mineral that makes stalagmites) in a pair of burial caves in the Pacific island nation of Palau.
Millions of nanosize nails form a highly repellent surface
By Day GreenbergPosted 06.03.2008 at 2:13 pm 5 Comments
A trio of prismatic drops (left to right: water, ethylene glycol and ethanol) balances on a new ultra-repellent surface invented by scientists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The surface, made up of silicon spikes just 400 nanometers wide, physically repels a wide variety of liquids, including water, oil, solvents and detergents.
Previously, scientists relied on chemical modification to make surfaces repel liquids, a time-consuming process. In the end, each coating worked to repel only certain liquids, and oil-repellent surfaces simply weren't possible to manufacture.